Supporting Cast

the-annunciation-gabriel-mary-39627-printThe vast majority of Christmas songs focus on the birth of Christ, and rightfully should. However, there are a few that tell of others involved in the Christmas story; the supporting cast.  This is the first of two posts about these other participants.

The Angel Gabriel

Luke 1:26-33

26 In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, 27 to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 The angel went to her and said, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.”

29 Mary was greatly troubled at his words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. 30 But the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary; you have found favor with God.31 You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you are to call him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, 33 and he will reign over Jacob’s descendants forever; his kingdom will never end.”

“Gabriel’s Message” or “The Angel Gabriel From Heaven Came” (Basque: Birjina gaztetto bat zegoen) is a Basque Christmas folk carol about the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary by the archangel Gabriel that she would become the mother of Jesus Christ the Son of God. (Wikipedia)  Sting resurrected this song in 1987 when he recorded it as part of a Christmas CD to raise money for Special Olympics. Here is an a cappella version for those who like hearing how it may have sounded when it was written.

Mary

Luke:34-38

34 “How will this be,” Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?”

35 The angel answered, “The Holy Spirit will come on you, and the power of the Most Highwill overshadow you. So the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. 37 For no word from God will ever fail.”

38 “I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May your word to me be fulfilled.” Then the angel left her.

“Breath of Heaven (Mary’s Song)” by Amy Grant is a single from her 1992 album Home for Christmas. It was featured on the soundtrack to The Nativity Story.

Joseph

Luke 2:1–7

2 In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. 2 (This was the first census that took place while[a] Quirinius was governor of Syria.) 3 And everyone went to their own town to register.

4 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. 5 He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. 6 While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, 7 and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them.

“Joseph’s Lullaby” is a song written and recorded by Christian rock band MercyMe. It was released as a single from the band’s 2005 album The Christmas Sessions.